Newark, NJ – Good Samaritans jumped into action to help save two wounded Newark police officers after a gunman opened fire on them in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Tuesday (video below).
Newark Public Safety Director Fritz Frage said the second officer was shot in the face and that the bullet traveled down into his shoulder, according to WNBC.
Cell phone footage showed one of the wounded heroes lying on the pavement with a pool of blood beside him.
He propped his upper body upright as a vehicle pulled up a moment later.
A woman got out and made her way over to him, then went to her car to get a piece of fabric to help slow the flow of blood gushing from his neck, the video showed.
She continued to help him even as more gunfire rang out.
Another cell phone video showed officers running towards their wounded comrades and dragging them to safety.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka praised the law enforcement response during a press conference on Wednesday and said the department has received an outpouring of support from the community.
Baraka also expressed his gratitude for those who stepped in to help the officers, even as the gunfire around them continued.
“The residents who live there, the residents from the building, the woman who got out of her car and tried to stop the bleeding of an officer – helped drag him to safety in the middle of what might have been a gunfight…This goes against all of the narratives that people put out there nationally and statewide about police and the community,” the mayor said.
“Our residents in Newark have shown several times over and over again that they are willing to put themselves in the way of…harm and work collaboratively with the police department to make sure we bring people who are violating the law to justice,” he added.
Baraka said he is especially thankful for the families of the officers who were wounded in the attack.
He noted that although those families are relieved to know their loved ones will recover, they are “still dealing with the anxiety of getting that call that their son was shot in the line of duty.”
“We thank you and we are so thankful that they are able to walk out of that hospital alive,” the mayor said.
The series of events leading up to the shooting began at approximately 1 p.m. on Nov. 1, when police received a tip about a possible suspect wanted in connection with a shooting that occurred on Oct. 28, WABC reported.
The suspect was later identified as 30-year-old Kendal Howard.
Baraka said the tipster saw a flier about the Oct. 28 shooting and told police Howard could be found in a building near the intersection of Chancellor Avenue and Van Velsor Place, according to WNBC.
Officers were leaving the building when they encountered Howard out in the parking lot.
“They gave him instructions; there was a brief altercation; the gentleman pulled a gun out, shot two police officers at close range,” Baraka told reporters, according to CNN. “Gunshot was returned – fire was returned. The gentleman retreated into the building.”
Two officers were wounded in the attack.
They were both rushed to a local hospital as SWAT units and additional law enforcement officers responded to the scene, WABC reported.
Residents sheltered in place for hours while police searched the property and blocked off streets to canvass the surrounding area.
Howard was ultimately apprehended at approximately 11 a.m. on Wednesday, WABC reported.
It was not immediately clear if he hid in the building overnight or if he somehow managed to escape and re-enter the perimeter.
Officers hauled him out of the apartment complex and arrested him on charges of unlawful possession of a weapon, attempted murder, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
Howard pleaded not guilty during a virtual court hearing on Wednesday, CBS News reported.
Both of the wounded officers have been with the Newark Police Department for less than two years.
They remained hospitalized in stable condition on Wednesday.
“We are relieved to announce that the two officers who were shot are in stable condition and are expected to have a full and complete recovery,” Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stephens said in a press conference after Howard’s arrest, according to WNBC.
The investigation into the case remains ongoing.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Graphic Content: